General Service Officer

As a General Service Officer in the Army your training will prepare you to lead troops in either full or part-time roles.

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Job Overview

About the Job

If you're looking to challenge yourself mentally and physically then a career as a General Service Officer could be for you. A GSO is someone who is committed, shows initiative, works well in a team environment and has leadership potential. You may have already studied at university or have worked for a couple of years since leaving school. Your training will teach you how to think, not what to think. At the end of your training you will have the ability to lead and the ability to make decisions confidently.

As a General Service Officer you can specialise in one of the following jobs:


Key Information

National Qualifications

Civil accreditation is currently under review for all Army training.

Salary & Allowances

While undergoing initial Officer Training, trainees receive:

Degree Qualified: $129.58 per day

Non-degree Qualified: $114.33 per day.

Members of the Reserve on part-time service are paid at a daily rate of pay which is tax-free. Daily rates of pay for commissioned Reserve Force Officers commence at $141.03

In addition to your salary, a Reserve Allowance of $27.63 per day is payable to compensate for the unique demands of Reserve Service.

Your salary will continue to increase based on your rank and the number of years of service completed in that rank. Your pay grade may increase following the acquisition of additional skills and completion of further training.

Refer to the Salary Scales for further details.


Officers are employed across Australia, both in major cities and regional areas. The location will depend on the Corps you are allocated to.



Applicants must be aged between 17 and 58 years of age inclusive on entry.

Applicants will not normally be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age, depending upon the capacity of their local recruiting centre.

Candidates whose age exceeds the age guidelines may still be considered for appointment, providing they have special skills or training that is of value to the Army.

Education & Experience

You must have completed Year 12 with passes in English and three other subjects. Or you may be in your final year and expect to reach these levels. (South Australian officer applicants may achieve a pass at Year 11 English and a pass in a language rich subject at Year 12 and three other subjects);


If you do not satisfy the education requirements or do not possess evidence of your educational attainment there is an alternative pathway available to you.

You may be eligible to sit an Alternative Education Equivalency (AEE) Assessment to ascertain your ability at the required educational level for this employment category. However, you should be a minimum of 21 years of age at the time of assessment and be able to demonstrate relevant work or life experience skills that will facilitate completion of your Employment Training.

Further information is available here.

A tertiary qualification is not required to be an effective junior officer, however officers without degrees will be encouraged to complete a degree later in their career.

Note: If you already have a degree, please provide copies of your transcripts as well as Year 12.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

All candidates who are appointed or enlisted into the Army Reserve may undertake volunteer service until the age of 65 (Compulsory Retiring Age) subject to the requirements of the Army and suitability for further service. Members may transfer out of the active Army Reserve at any time.


The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

Psychology support staff will explain what is involved with each test.

The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs. Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here.


Only Australian Citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary waiver of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have security clearances appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and, as required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1, and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years. Required information includes:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Credit

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

NOTE: The security clearance is critical to an applicants successful progression through the Army training system. If an applicant is unable to obtain the required security clearance in time, they will not be allowed to continue their training and may need to be re-allocated to another employment category. As such, it is strongly recommended that all applicants obtain the required documentation as soon as possible to provide the best opportunity to be employed in their preferred employment category.


Military Training


The ARes GSO FAC focuses on instilling Army's values (Courage, Initiative, Respect and Teamwork) in a similar fashion to soldier basic training and then providing junior officer candidates with the leadership, management, operational skills and knowledge required of a junior officer to command a platoon.

During training, candidates will learn and be assessed on weapons, fieldcraft, leadership, tactics, administration and management and lots more.

Location and Duration of Training:

Training is conducted through a combination of non-continuous training (self-paced workbooks, parade nights and weekends) with local Army Reserve University Regiments and residential continuous training (Training Blocks 1 to 5) at centres of expertise throughout Australia, culminating with completion of the last training block at the Royal Military College Duntroon.

The ARes GSO FAC is modularised to allow candidates the flexibility to complete the training around civilian employment commitments. Training Block 1 is conducted continuously throughout the year at the Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka, with Training Blocks 2 to 5 conducted twice annually. Ideally, most candidates will complete the course within 18 months - 2 years and are expected to complete the ARes GSO FAC within a maximum of 3 years. It is possible for a candidate to complete the ARes GSO FAC within a minimum of 9 - 14 months; however, these are usually in-service candidates who been given recognition of prior learning.

The ARes GSO FAC has five (5) training blocks totalling 111 days residential training:

Training Block 1 - Military Foundation Skills - 35 days duration delivered at the Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka (Wagga Wagga, NSW) is actually the Reserve Recruit Training Course. Qualified soldiers who are selected to be officers may be granted recognition of this training and commence the ARes GSO FAC at Training Block 2. Likewise any officer candidate who does not wish to continue officer training is able to become a soldier on completion of this training block. This training block is conducted throughout the year.

Training Block 2 - Small Military Team Leader Theory - is 16 days duration and is conducted in the January to February and June to July periods by Sydney University Regiment at Singleton, NSW. This training block builds on the skills introduced at Recruit Training and provides Officer Candidates with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required to operate as part of a section.

Training Block 3 - Small Military Team Leader - 16 days duration conducted in the January to February and June to July periods by Sydney University Regiment at Singleton, NSW. This training block provides Officer Cadets with the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to command at section level. This training block is also your first step along the way to learning the leadership and management skills that you will need to successfully command soldiers in the Australian Army. This training block also gives qualifications in the conduct of military live fire weapons range practices.

Training Block 4 - Command, Leadership and Management - 16 days duration conducted in the January to February and June to July periods by Sydney University Regiment at Singleton, NSW. This training block provides Officer Cadets with the theoretical knowledge required for the conduct of platoon level operations and introduces Officer Cadets to command at platoon level.

Training Block 5 - All Corps Army Reserve Platoon Commander - 28 days duration conducted in January and July by External Training Wing RMC Duntroon at Majura (near Canberra), ACT. This training block provides Officer Cadets with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to command at platoon level and confirms you have all attributes, skills and values to become an officer in the Australian Army. It also confirms that you have the leadership, management, operational skills and knowledge required of a junior officer to command a platoon on likely Army Reserve operations. On the successful completion of Training Block 5 you will be commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Australian Army Reserve.

Training in Your Unit

In between residential training blocks, you will undertake training and assessment and consolidate your skills in your University Regiment. You will be expected to attend parade nights and weekends organised by your parent Army Reserve University Regiment. Your unit will look after all your administration for attending the ARes GSO FAC training blocks. The training staff will help you prepare for the residential training blocks, revise the skills you learn as well as provide instruction and assessment on military skills like fieldcraft, drill, training, military justice and written and oral communication. There are also some additional requirements for training which can be obtained through external organisations. These requirements will be explained to you by unit training staff.

Employment Training

Just prior to graduation from RMC, you'll be appointed to one of the Army's specialised branches, known as Corps. For example, the Transport Corps is responsible for transport of Army personnel and all kinds of equipment via land, air and sea.

Corps allocation is based on your preference, competitiveness and availability of positions.

Initially you'll be required to complete several weeks of in-service Corps training and familiarisation. You'll then be posted to your unit, where you may find yourself taking troops through field exercises, tactical assaults or managing any number of vital Army functions.

Reserve Unit Locations

  • HMAS <em>Harman</em>
    Canberra ACT 2600
  • Bullecourt Barracks
    Adamstown NSW 2289
  • Gaza Depot
    Armidale NSW 2350
  • Racecourse Barracks
    Bathurst NSW 2795
  • Broken Hill Multi-User Depot
    Broken Hill NSW 2880
  • Sydney University Regiment
    Darlington NSW 2008
  • University of New South Wales Regiment
    Kensington NSW 2033
  • Romani Barracks
    Orange NSW 2800
  • University of Wollongong Regiment
    Wollongong NSW 2500
  • Larrakeyah Barracks
    Larrakeyah NT 0820
  • Queensland University Regiment
    St Lucia QLD 4067
  • Lavarack Barracks
    Townsville QLD 4813
  • Hamptead Barracks
    Greenacres SA 5086
  • Mount Gambier Training Depot
    Mount Gambier SA 5290
  • Port Pirie Multi User Depot
    Port Pirie SA 5540
  • Kakoda Barracks
    Devonport TAS 7310
  • Derwent Baracks
    Glenorchy TAS 7010
  • Youngtown Barracks
    Launceston TAS 7249
  • Monash University Regiment
    Clayton VIC 3168
  • Melbourne University Regiment
    Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Simpson Barracks
    Watsonia VIC 3087
  • Leeuwin Barracks
    East Fremantle WA 6158
  • 25/49 Battalion The Royal Queensland Regiment / 104 Const Squadron
    Bullecourt Crescent Greenbank QLD 4124